Quietly popping up Motorola's accessories page, the Motorola Turbo Charger is promising to change the game when it comes to charging your smart device. Utilizing Qualcomm's fast-charging technology-- Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0-- it promises that just a 15 minutes charge of your smartphone's battery will translate into 8 hours of battery life.
How does it work? No idea. But there are some clues. For example, Motorola's page for the charger suggests that it has an output of 15 watts. We know that Watts = Amps x Volts, so working backwards we can figure out that the charger could possibly be approximately 3.0 amps at a standard 5.0 volts, which is six times the output of a typical charger connected to a PC and about 33% more power than an iPad charger connected to a wall socket. Naturally, this would mean a much faster charge time.
However, the above is probably not what's happening here. When it comes to charging a battery, power is pulled by the device rather than pushed by the charger, so merely increasing amperage will not work without a drastic overhaul of the actual battery technology. What is more likely taking place is an increase in voltage rather than ampere, meaning that this charger is likely to be about approximately 1.6 amps at 9 volts, or 2 amps at 7.5 volts. Heat is the main issue in this case, however heat is an issue that can be overcome. This is supported by Qualcomm's own promotional material, which includes a comparison between different charging technologies and specifying that the Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 charger uses a 2.0 amp, 9 volt charger.
So is the charger all that it's cracked up to be? Sort of, but not really. The devil is in the detail, and the details Motorola has given paint a slightly less impressive image:
- The fine print mentions that the battery must be "substantially depleted," and clarifies that this is because charging slows down as the charging process progresses. Taking away the technical talk, it basically means that a user's smartphone battery would need to be dead (or close to it) in order for it to charge that quickly.
- The '8 hours in 15 minutes' claim is approximate and it includes both "usage and standby time," meaning that the actual usage time a user will get out of a 15 minute charge is substantially less than 8 hours.
- It clarifies that the actual battery performance will vary on things such as network configuration (such as whether the user is connected to a 4G or 3G network), age of the battery, and further things such as push notifications.
All in all, it is certainly a step forward in battery technology, however, it doesn't appear to be the giant leap that Motorola is painting in its marketing material. If your phone is dead and you're late to class or work, then this is where this technology will shine. However if you're the type of user to not let a smartphone's battery drain that low, then this would just be a novelty. Either way, at $34.99, its certainly an affordable novelty.
Supported devices include most of those with the newer Snapdragon 400/600/800 chipsets, which includes smartphones and tablets such as the HTC One M8, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 and Z3, and of course the Moto X.
The video below discusses Qualcomm's Quick Charge 1.0 and 2.0: